Let There Be Music: the Waldorf Approach

There are few educational models in the world that value music as richly as does Waldorf education. Andrea Lyman wrote a wonderful article for RENEWAL Magazine about the Waldorf Music Curriculum, Grades 1-8. Enjoy and share!

Click here to read the article!

AWS Hosts Foundation Studies

Exploring color

Foundation Studies color exploration

Handwork

Handwork experience led by Diane — felting

Black and White

Studies in light and dark with charcoal

Concentration

Concentration

Class with Nathaniel

Nathaniel Williams from the Center for Anthroposophy leads morning study.

Color

Variations on color

Community Enrichment Classes & Events

Feeling crafty? Interested in enriching your parenting skills or learning more about Waldorf education?  Anchorage Waldorf School offers many opportunities for families to learn and grow together.

We are currently finalizing our Community Enrichment Program calendar for 2015-2016 and will publish it shortly. If you are interested in receiving our brochure in the mail, please call the school to request a copy.  (907) 333.9062

 

 

AWS Adopts New Governance Model

In May 2014, the Board of Trustees at Anchorage Waldorf School adopted an executive director model of administration and appointed current Interim Administrator, Jeanne Larsen, to serve in this role.  Over the summer, a committee of board and faculty representatives built a detailed job description for this position based on our current structure, needs, and strengths along with a review of models for this role at other schools across the country. At the end of the 2014-15 year we will evaluate how the executive director model has worked for our school and assess the outcomes to make the decision whether or not to continue with this structure long-term.

Following several strategic planning sessions led by AWS alumni parent and Professional Growth Systems partner Doug Johnson during the spring of 2014, members of the AWS community opted to pursue a change in governance structure to address the current needs of the school and to strengthen operations.  There was strong agreement that an executive director model would allow for more focused and clear systems of communication, accountability and resource management.

The board asked Jeanne Larsen to step into the role of Executive Director following a full evaluation led by the board’s executive committee this spring.  Jeanne is a strong candidate to move the school forward; she has a deep love for our school and is in a unique position to help us figure out what this position should and could be as we move forward.  We are fortunate to have a leader with her commitment, experience and skill set at the helm.

 

AWS Alumni : Myth Busters + Advice

Here are Waldorf Myth Busters + Advice that a parent gathered from the outstanding AWS Life After AWS Alumni Student/Parent Panel on May 20.
“Waldorf students leave 8th grade unprepared for high school math.”
Wrong.  In fact, many AWS grads think they can do math so well that they skip Algebra 1 and go straight into Geometry. Yikes! Here’s where it can get challenging (unless you’ve taken Algebra 1 in summer school beforehand like one student did), but because they LOVE LEARNING, they figure it out and get the extra help they need. So really, we’re sending children out into the world who are confident and willing to take challenges.
Also, in Isabeau Barnes’ high school algebra class this year, she is one of three students who don’t have to take the final because they have an “A” already.  The other 2 students are fellow AWS graduates.
Mike Price, an alumni parent, mentioned that his daughter Anna did struggle with math in high school. She seems to have gotten over it however since she is currently a Math and Physics major in University.
“Waldorf students have a hard time with the social transition into a large high school.”
Wrong.  Many students cited their ability to MAKE FRIENDS MORE EASILY because they’d been in smaller classes their whole lives and had been forced to not only deal with many personalities in an intimate setting for years, but also to maintain these friendships day in and day out.  Can’t just ignore someone you’re annoyed with for the rest of the semester at AWS, right?
Many students cited how their involvement in cross country running and cross country skiing gave them an instant community.
One student did know her limitations in a crowd, and the desire to be in a smaller school lead her to Polaris for high school. Here again, we’ve sent a child out into the world who knows who she is and what she wants. She is the editor of their school newspaper.  Did I mention that she WROTE A NOVEL for her 8th grade project?
“If a Waldorf class doesn’t have the same teacher for 8 years, something is wrong.”
Wrong.  While this is the ideal, most of these students had 2 or more teachers for their experience at AWS.
“Waldorf graduates are totally unprepared and naive to the seedier aspects of high school like teenage sex and drug use.”
Correct. But would you want this any other way?
So, what can we do as AWS parents to prepare our children for high school? A couple of things stood out:
1.) Enroll them in an online typing course.
2.) Teach them to use a combination lock and explain the concept of having to lock up their things.
3.) Go to the library and do a quick overview on the concept of a “text book.”
4.) Teach them how to do proper research online.
5.) M-a-a-a-y-be have a brief sex and drugs talk.
Enough said. Many thanks to those who attended our panel and asked (and answered) such outstanding questions.  It was just the spark and renewal that I needed. These are phenomenal people we are preparing for the world and we should be very proud of our school in its ability to do so.

 

 

Tuesday May 20, 6:30-8pm in the Hall at Anchorage Waldorf School. Come and meet some of our alumni, an alumni parent, and high school teachers who appreciate the qualities our students bring to high school. Find out who they are, and what they do after they graduate from AWS.

AWS-Alumni-Night-Flyer_FINAL

Myth Busting: How Reading is Taught in a Waldorf School

Sarah Baldwin is the creator of the Moon Child blog and a huge proponent of the Waldorf approach to learning. We’re happy to share her blog post “Myth Busting: How Reading is Taught in a Waldorf School.”

Please share in your social media circles and help spread the word!

And check out our video on reading with our very own fourth grade teacher Kathleen Smith!